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New York Tenant-Landlord Law

by Caroline Merkin


Fair Housing

The Fair Housing Act was created in order to ensure that everyone is treated equally during the housing process. It protects tenants from discrimination when seraching for a rental property. At the federal level the Fair Housing Act protects the following classes…

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Familial Status
  • Disability

Learn about fair housing at the federal level here

The New York Human Rights Law protects all the same classes as the federal Fair Housing Act in addition to protecting the classes of…

  • Creed
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marital status
  • Military status

Security Deposits

  • In New York, security deposits are not required by law but are highly recommended as they prove a tenant’s financial stability and guarantee a payment for damaged property
  • There is no statute for the maximum amount a landlord can charge, but most the amount of the monthly rent (Tenant’s Rights Guide)
  • Landlords are not allowed to commingle deposit funds their personal assets. (N.Y. GOL §§ 7-103(1))
    • If the rental property contains 6 or more related individuals, the deposit is required to be kept in a New York interest bearing bank account (N.Y. GOL §§ 7-103(2-a))
    • In New York, a landlord must provide tenants with the name and address of the bank in which the deposit amount is placed (N.Y. GOL §§ 7-103(2))
  • There is no official deadline for returning security deposits, as long as it is done within a “reasonable” amount of time (Tenant’s Rights Guide)
    • Additionally, there is no statute regarding a written description / itemized list of damages and charges to a tenant if the security deposit is being withheld.

Rent and Late fees

  • There are no statutes in New York stating when rent must be paid (whether at the beginning or end of the month) nor regarding a time period in which a landlord must notify a tenant about a rent increase.
  • There are no statutes regarding late fees or grace periods.
  • Electronic billing should not be mandated as the only method of rent payment (N.Y. RPL §§ 235-g).
  • A tenant is allowed to withhold rent for a failure to provide essential services (water, heat, etc.) (N.Y. RPL §§ 235-a)

Notices and Entry

  • There is no statute regarding a required notice before entry, but at least 24 hours is recommended
  • A landlord is not required to give notice prior to terminating a tenancy with a fixed end date, outside of New York City (N.Y. RPL §§ 232-b)
    • If the lease is month-to-month, the landlord has to notify the tenant one month prior to terminating outside of New York City (N.Y. RPL §§ 232-b), and 30 days notice if in New York City (N.Y. RPL §§ 232-a)
  • There is no statute regarding a required notice before entry for non-emergency repairs, but at least 24 hours is recommended
    • There are no statutes regarding emergency entry either.


  • The landlord must provide a tenant a written statement that they are allowed to prematurely end a lease in circumstances involving sexual assault, sexual abuse, or domestic violence.
  • Landlords in New York must also send an annual lead notice between January 1st-15th to all tenants in pre-1960 multiple dwellings or dwellings constructed between 1960-1978 where lead-based paint is known to exist along with an information pamphlet.
  • The landlord must disclose certain mechanical services and utilities sources and quality prior to accepting a purchase offer.
  • If any structural damage is present (such as water, smoke, fire, or insect damage) the landlord must notify the tenant.

Eviction Laws

  • When it is failure to pay rent, the tenant has 10 days to pay you otherwise the eviction notice can be filed with the courts.
  • When there is another lease violation (e.g. subletting), the tenant has 10 days to resolve the violation from the point that the eviction notice is served. Otherwise the eviction notice will be filed with the courts.

For more information on New York Landlord Tenant laws please visit their website here.